Rutte Says Islands May Leave

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No image availableNL Times

Caribbean parts of the kingdom who want to break the ties with the Netherlands, may leave immediately, according to Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Prime Minister has said this during his visit to the islands, he let reporters of De Telegraaf and NRC Handelsblad know.

"If you call me tomorrow that you want out, then we'll arrange it immediately," said the Prime Minister against representatives of the islands. According Rutte they looked 'surprised' at him.

The prime minister wants to avoid with his statement, that the islands start again the discussion about their constitution and their relationship with the Netherlands. He wants them to concentrate on things like cleaning up their finances.

Rutte visited this week Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. They are independent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Prime Minister also visited Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius, which apply as a special Dutch municipality since the constitutional reform of 2010.

Reaction Pechtold

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold called the statement of Rutte inappropriate and ‘for a historian and Prime Minister’, not very diplomatic. According to Pechtold, were the words of Rutte meant for the show, because Rutte knows that people love to hear such statements. “The Netherlands has a history of 400 years with these islands, so the Prime Minister should formulate things carefully,” says Pechtold. “Suppose he had said this about Limburg. Then the hell broke loose.”